Enough to curl your hair

I bought shampoo today. This is not as easy an exercise as you would imagine. Actually, it was easy for me. I looked along the rows of shampoo bottles looking for the supermarket tags that indicate what brands are on special! I suspect that most blokes shopping for their own shampoo use the same method. Unless they have their hair coloured, styled and zshooshed at a hair salon. Then, I suspect, they buy their “products” at the salon.

A brand I have used recently was on “special” at $5.94, for not a large bottle. I thought “special” for that brand was about $2 cheaper. I settled on a brand that was $4.99 for a 400ml bottle. Not the cheapest shampoo I’ve ever bought but is THIS shampoo any better for my hair?

Well, this shampoo is at least for “normal” hair, which in days gone by meant not oily and not dry. I really have no idea what sort of hair I have but it definitely does NOT belong to the ever growing list of categories – hair that is coloured, wavy or Martian! Actually I made up that last category. But it may well be real for all the sense the others make. I mean wavy? Is that naturally wavy or wavy as induced in some hair salon? The normal/dry/oily/wavy/coloured conundrum is only the start of the shampoo journey.

My shampoo is in a green bottle, the sub-brand is “Naturals”, it has “Active Nourishment”, contains “Fruit Vitamins & Aloe Essence” and is “up to 7 X smoother*. I don’t care about any of this but you just know I had to go and read what came after the * (asterisk). That was on the back of the bottle in considerably smaller type than the 7 X. I also assumed that 7 X means seven times smoother, not 7 X smoother as if indicating an adults only product. The * says, “Using __________ Naturals Active Nourishment Shampoo and Conditioner vs non-conditioning shampoo”. So, I’ve done my dash. I didn’t buy the Conditioner. Apparently the all capitals Naturals Active Nourishment Shampoo alone is not enough to defeat the lower case non-conditioning shampoo. Or at least not enough to defeat it 7 times over. I mean, due to my meanness in not spending an additional $4.99, I have missed out on 7 X smoother hair! The sacrifices I make!

And what of the “Fruit Vitamins & Aloe Essence”? The ingredients list on the back of the bottle is in the smallest type of all. If the ingredients are listed in order of decreasing prominence in the final product then the fruit vitamins and aloe essence are indeed scarce. And when reading shampoo ingredients lists, one is best prepared if one has a chemistry degree. After the first ingredient, water, I am lost. Of the 26 (!) ingredients number 19, “Citrus Paradisi” and number 20, “Aloe Barbadensis Extract”, seem to fulfill the promise of “Fruit Vitamins & Aloe Essence. I am curious about number 21, “Pyrus Malus Juice” as the name sounds entirely made up. I mean it is juice but does that make “Pyrus Malus” a fruit? It sounds more like Latin for ruined paper, as in “I spilt my glass of juice and ruined the paper”!

Of all the ingredients, numbers 25 and 26 perturb me the most. While they are present in perhaps the smallest of volumes, their names sound anything but natural in a range of shampoo called “Naturals”. Number 25 is Methylchloroisothiazolinone and number 26 is Methylisothiazolinone.

Perhaps I am more influenced by the implied promise that if I use the “Naturals Active Nourishment Shampoo with Fruit Vitamins & Aloe Essence”, albeit without the accompanying Conditioner, my hair should at least be 3 1/2 X smoother than any other non-conditioning shampoo!


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